Meeting up with friends… old and new

A few weeks ago we hosted our trade portfolio tasting in the Principality Stadium.

The event has so many working parts that lots of preparation went into the planning.

Just the logistics of getting winemakers from around the world to settle in one spot takes a herculean effort. Coupled with firing invites out to our beloved customers… it is a bit of a thing.

It was also heartening to get support from a couple of rugby legends Alun Wyn Jones and Richard Hibbard, who have immersed themselves in the trade with a range of spirits and spirit liquors which added another layer of interest to proceedings.

The main benefit for our on-trade customers is they can have a taste at a large, and varied, selection of our portfolio, while enjoying the information and stories from representatives from the wineries themselves.

This adds so much to the experience that you, the consumer, will enjoy when you are out and about on your dining adventures. And as we know it’s all about our lovely customers, whether on or off-trade.

The event is also a usual exercise for us to showcase new wines and products, getting instant feedback from the guests.

Our broad church of patrons range from large hotels to smaller independent bars, and everything in between.

The enthusiasm and appetite to find out more about the wines from our customers showed that the hospitality industry – through very tough times – still has custodians that augurs well for the future.

It was wonderful getting everyone together for the first time post-pandemic, and for our suppliers and customers to engage again in a relaxed environment that showcases what we do.

The appetite and vigour shown by suppliers and customers alike, was great to see and energises the business.

And hosting it at such an iconic venue like The Principality Stadium certainly had the ‘wow’ factor.

Three of our suppliers hosted masterclasses in one of the hospitality suites overlooking the ‘hallowed’ turf.

For one of them, Sam Clarke from Australia – a very fine fellow indeed – it was his first time in the Welsh capital, and underlined the commitment from our winemakers, making the effort to travel halfway around the world to make the event and showcase his wines.

Thorne-Clarke wines are based in the iconic Barossa Valley in Australia and make a range of wines that suit most tastes, from their aromatic whites from the Eden Valley to their blockbusting reds from Barossa.

The delicate, and super quaffable, Thorn-Clarke Eden Valley Pinot Gris (Fine Wines Direct UK, £14.99) has aromas that combine notes of nashi pear, rose petals and elderflower. While on the palate, zesty notes of finger lime and grapefruit are paired with the sweeter notes of white nectarine.

As you’d expect from Oz, their Shiraz, from entry level examples to the tumultuous Ron Thorn Flagship Shiraz, are a thing of beauty, chock full of glorious black fruits and a light sprinkling of spice. The wines are all about gratification and generosity and are as enjoyable on their own as they are with a nice meaty dish.

Finally, the William Randell Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Fine Wines Direct UK, £27.99) is a special wine hewn from a grape more accustomed to France and California, but nonetheless makes a rather delightful drop of red here.

Only made in certain years, the William Randell has a nose is brimming with notes of fresh blackcurrant intertwined with complexing savoury spice. The palate has an integrated French oak influence with notes of toasty cedar accompanied by further notes of bramble fruits.

We were delighted by the feedback we received for our trade event, and we can use that information to give all our customers the wine experience they deserve.


Neil Cammies

Former columnist for the Western Mail and is now working for Fine Wines Direct UK. Hosting tastings, building client relationships, and writing about his experiences in the wine trade.


Fine Wines Direct Portfolio Tasting Wine list Launch President’s Lounge Principality Stadium 9th April 2024.
Fine Wines Direct Portfolio Tasting Wine list Launch President’s Lounge Principality Stadium 9th April 2024.
Scroll to Top